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West Fargo: Dorgan to chair hearing about Devils Lake Outlet

North Dakota Sen. Byron Dorgan speaks about economic issues facing the state and the country during a town hall meeting at West Fargo City Hall last Saturday. A crowd of about 80 people attended and voiced their opinions about the tight job market and the proposed government economic stimulus package. David Samson/The Forum

U.S. Senator Byron Dorgan (D-N.D.) will hold an official U.S. Senate field hearing at 10 a.m. on Friday, Feb. 19, in the West Fargo City Commission Chambers to look at the effects of Devils Lake outlet water on downstream areas.

"The purpose of the hearing is simply to fully understand the facts about the proposed water releases and any potential impact for those who live downstream on the Sheyenne River," Dorgan said. "Citizens who live in downstream areas have signed petitions and expressed concerns about the state's proposal to increase the sulfate levels in the Sheyenne River in order to take more water off of Devils Lake. I want to examine those concerns and evaluate the consequences for downstream communities measured against the amount of water it will take off of Devils Lake."

The Senate Energy and Water Appropriations Subcommittee hearing will take place at West Fargo City Hall. The community is one of many in North Dakota that sit along the Sheyenne River.

Dorgan has greatly increased federal funding for North Dakota water projects since taking over as chairman of the Energy and Water Subcommittee in 2007. He secured $90 million last year alone to raise the levee protecting the community of Devils Lake from the neighboring lake.